I just defended my thesis proposal! (finally!)

Henlo, reader-friends. This is basically just a life update on how I was able to survive my thesis proposal defense.

It is really a big deal for me because: first, it is my dream school. Second, it is my dream course. Third, this defense basically sums up my education in the graduate school. Bonus points: Ito ‘yung isasagot ko kapag may nagtanong sa akin kung bakit ‘di pa ako nag-aasawa or kung may plano ba akong mag-asawa. Balakayojan.

Going to graduate school is never easy. The transportation, the adjustments, and the readings that I all have to do just because this is my dream. Plus, I am working full time. This dream is definitely tiring but it is worth it. (I remembered traveling to UP for three hours just for one subject. :D)

I forgot to appreciate this dream during the pandemic. I did not to enroll any classes since pandemic because I was planning to teach abroad. ESL Teacher sana! But, COVID happen, back to step 1 of adulting 101.

But I believe that God has a purpose. Huhu. Thank you Lord for realigning my plans! ❤

So I took the courage to defend my proposal. One month preparation, plus one week of questioning myself. “Bakit ko ba ‘to ginagawa?” Also, sleepless nights because of overthinking.

But hey, God is great. He surely wants me to finish my masters degree.

My panel members are: Dr. Joey Baquiran, Director, ICW), Dr. Jimmuel Naval (Dean of CAL, UPD), Dr. Rommel Rodriguez (CAL, Graduate Studies Head), and my thesis adviser is Dr. Eugene Y. Evasco!

At eto ako, alikabok. Haha. I am working on a YA NOVEL or Panitikang Pangkabataan. Sana mapanindigan! Pagdasal niyo ako please.

I was asked to: read more literature, review my poetics, and prove that my education in UPD has helped me improve my writing style. Sabi ng isang panel, “Husayan mo pa nang konte.”

Right now, I am working on my structure and building my plot. I will not rush. I will do it because I love and want to do it. Huhuhu.

I hope you will also choose to chase your dreams no matter how challenging it is. Padayon!

How to Avoid Learning Loss 2021

School Year 2020-2021 is already over in some private schools. Some schools are almost finished. ‘Summer’ break for the students is fast approaching, same goes with Summer Slide or what people know as Summer Learning Loss.

What is Summer Slide or Learning Loss?

Have you heard of Learning Loss? It is a phenomena where students forget what they have learned in the previous school year. According to Forbes, children lose up to 40% of learning over summer break. This reference is Western in context but is still applicable in the Philippines.

There are long-term economic effects for this loss. According to Hanushek, A. & Woessmann, L. (2020), the two main impacts are:

1) Affected students whose schooling has been interrupted by the pandemic face long-term losses in income. Hence, they might not be equipped with the skills that they need in the future. They might be equipped but would that be enough and of high standards?

2) National economies that go forward with a less-skilled labor force face lower economic growth which subtracts from the overall welfare of society. This is the collective economic impact of summer slide or learning loss.

What can we do about it?

UNESCO-McKinsey & Company suggested ways on how to cope.

The first is to allow students more time to learn. This could be through summer classes, weekend catch-up, or adding extra time at the end of the day. A second approach involves dedicated attention through smaller breakout groups or one-to-one tutoring for the most disadvantaged learners.

As an elementary teacher, I believe that there are various ways on how to avoid or lessen the impact brought by learning loss. My suggestion is acronym LENS.

Literacy, Enjoyment, Numeracy, and Skills.

How to Avoid Learning Loss

  1. Give them activities related to LITERACY. This includes reading, writing, and even journaling.
  2. Enjoyment refers to the games that they can do at home. Board games are perfect examples for this.
  3. Numeracy refers to activities related to Math. Students, if given enough time during summer, can always review what their Math lessons are.
  4. Skills refer to new skills that students can learn over the summer break. This could be any household chores, or any entrepreneurial skills.

To do this, here is a concrete example of a student’s weekly activity.

Parents do not need to spend a lot just to avoid learning loss. By being consistent, they can manage how their children cope up with the challenges in learning specially this pandemic. Also, there are online classes that parents may consider if they would like enrichment programs for their kids.

If you are looking for fun activities this summer, check this out.

Here is the pdf version of this article. Thank you and have fun reading and learning.

How to Give Talk or Webinar Online

Aside from being missing in action for four months, I am just your average elementary teacher teaching English to grade one students in a private school in Pasig. So, whenever somebody asks me to give a talk about a certain topic, I honestly do not know how to react. What I do is I absorb the info about the invitation, weigh whether I can commit myself fully to it or not for a few minutes. If everything is good, (if I am mentally okay, and our internet permits), I say say.

2020 has brought lots of opportunities for me. Not posting this to brag but to give you some details on how to deal with invitations for speakership.

How to Give Talk or Webinar Online

Here is what I have learned after saying YES to 10 events this year.

  1. When somebody invites you for a talk, ask them the important details.
    1. objectives
    2. target audience
    3. date and time
    4. means of the seminar (online or face-to-face)
    5. length of your talk
    6. of course, the program.

You need to know these details so you can easily create an outline for your talk that would address what your audience needs. You need these details, promise. I’ve learned this the hard way. There was a time when I absent-mindedly say yes to a friend, not reading the objectives of the workshop I was assigned to. (Sorry, friend, if you are reading this.) Good thing, I was able to adjust the flow of my talk and my activities for that day.

2. Prepare ahead of time. I believe, you are given enough time to prepare for your talk. Hence, you should read, draft, and write your talk in advance. Avoid cramming.

3. Create a strong visual or Powerpoint presentation. Make sure that it follows the usual rules for presentation like the font size (big enough), font style (not more than three font styles), and even the layout. Yes, Canva has a lot of templates, but make sure to make necessary adjustments so you won’t appear the typical Canva user. hehe.

4. Make your online talk or webinar interactive. Let your audience feel that they are part of the program and not just passive listeners. They can contribute to the discussion by commenting their insights or by simply asking questions. Let them know that you are monitoring their comments in the comment section or chat box. Haha. That gives them the sense of responsibility and urgency to respond to your questions.

5. Integrating games to your talk or webinar sounds exciting! When they know that they will be rewarded, audience tend to be more motivated to participate. Most of the time, games add flavor to one’s talk, as well.

These are just some of the things I did before I give talk or webinars online. If I’ve missed anything, feel free to comment them in the comment section below.

Have a great day ahead!